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Government Shutdown and How It Affects Trucking

Talks about a government shutdown have been speculated for months, but as Oct. 1 approaches, we could see major changes to trucking.

Congress must send President Biden spending bills by midnight on Sunday to keep the government open.

A shutdown would risk destabilizing the American economy, which is already struggling with inflation.

The shutdown would lead to thousands of federal workers being suspended.

Essential services like the military, Postal Service, Medicaid and Social Security would not stop operations.

The federal judiciary can operate for at least two weeks after a shutdown.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been outlining the impact a shutdown would have on the country’s mobility grid.

“In the event of a shutdown, we would have to immediately stop so many important activities in the Department of Transportation, like training air traffic controllers,” the secretary told ABC News on Sept. 24.

“After everything we’ve been through, after all of the disruptions to air traffic — to air travel that we experienced last year — this year, we finally see cancellations and delays back to normal. They’re actually a little below where they were before COVID[-19]. This would be a reversal that nobody wants, nobody asked for.”

A few days prior, Buttigieg told reporters on Capitol Hill, “A shutdown would be a really difficult situation.”

“We strongly urge expeditious passage of a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill … to avoid funding disruption — whether due to a lapse in appropriations or through a series of continuing resolutions (CR) — that can impact this important work of steadily investing in our national transportation system,” the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials wrote to congressional leaders this month.

“While we understand the need for a CR prior to the end of the fiscal year — and strongly ask that such a CR pass before Sept. 30 — it is vitally important that Congress reaches agreement on the full-year THUD bill and send it to the president quickly,” the association added.

Congress has not scheduled a date for the vote on the final fiscal 2024 transportation funding bill, however both parties’ bills dedicate nearly $1 billion for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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